“Coming Out to Dad” had an extra twist with “dad,” in this case, being two local Conservative rabbis. In both cases, readers were fascinated with the openness and open arms that welcomed the younger generation’s coming out, or declaration of being in the LGBTQ+ group.
In Rabbi Joshua Heller’s case, son Caleb; in Rabbi Hillel Norry’s case, daughter Natanya, below referred to by Norry as the “they” pronoun.
Rabbi Heller reported that after the initial fuss with his sermon and Facebook post about Caleb, things settled down. Caleb is in college, happy and focused on his future career in film. Rabbi Heller said, “He’s getting good grades; and the news story is that it’s not a news story. It just ‘is.’ Welcome the day when the love between a father and son is not a news story.”
Rabbi Norry lent this update, “Natanya continues to enjoy college, and is getting a lot of experience performing, writing, and collaborating musically. They and I were both proud of how the story showed our relationship, and we both received a lot of supportive responses. Publicly sharing our positive story has itself been a positive experience. Natanya continues to be an inspiring model for me, Jewishly and creatively, expressing themselves and sharing their curious and philosophical mind. It’s not uncommon for me to get a deep theological question texted to me late at night.
“I know that, as they grow and further explore the world, they will not find everyone open and receptive to who they are. But I’m sure they will always remember that their family loves and supports them. Just this morning, they came home, and we went to vote together, a moment of serious ‘naches.’ Just a rabbi, and his queer kid trying to change the world.”